Used Corvette Buyers Guide: Here’s What to Look For

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Purchasing a used car has the opportunity to be one of the most advantageous deals you could strike when searching out vehicles to drive. You’ll be able to find cars at low prices, especially if they’re models that are about two or three years old. A car that’s three years old you ask? That’s really not a lot of time, which technically means that most cars put up for sale have already had most of their mechanical problems solved and have been driven around enough to get used to the roads. A Corvette is a well sought-after sports car. A used Corvette that gives the best of both worlds sounds incredibly tempting to seek out.

Used Corvette

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But, you know the saying – sounds too good to be true. It’s not a mandatory rule, but when faced with something so apparently beneficial, we tend to ask ourselves “What’s the catch here?” Sometimes there really isn’t one. Sometimes people just wish to sell their cars quickly and so they offer it for a good price. It never hurts to be a little careful, though, so here’s the best guide for acquiring a used Corvette.

The Used Corvette is Yours

When buying a used Corvette you are likely going to encounter vehicles that have experienced a variety of alterations and changes. Unlike a new Corvette, a model that’s been used for several years has probably already underwent some tuning sessions such as engine empowerments, changed tires, or changed bakes. The positive thing about this is that you have more variants for personalized cars or vehicles that can directly appeal to a particularity you really want.

1967 Yellow Convertable Corvette

But there’s more to this personal adjustment than this. You will also seek out to purchase a car that appeals to you from the perspective of its flaws too. Look out for errors that you would rather not spend your time fixing and for deal breakers such as renamed brands, something that will later on prove to be an obstacle when trying to resell it.

A Used Chevy Corvette: Not Damaged

When pondering over the prospect of buying a used Corvette,  our biggest fear involves a mechanical malfunction of some sort. More so, we’re afraid that sellers will find a way to mask any damage that keeps the car from properly functioning. Most of this damage is an aftermath of accidents, even small ones like a bump in the rear.

Used Damaged Corvette

Ideally, the previous owner should provide some reports of any possible accidents, but you can choose to look them up yourself if you’re doubtful. Sometimes this isn’t sufficient and you might need to start looking for physical clues. Always look for the factory door sticker stamped on the door of the used Corvette’s driver’s seat. If it’s missing, the door must have been replaced. Don’t misunderstand this as a reason to not acquire the car since, all things considered, the door was ultimately replaced and the automobile is functioning. But it’s a good way to test the waters for the seller’s honesty.

On the Lookout for Frontal Collisions

Since we’re on the topic of accidents, one of the most damaging effects of a collision can be reflected in the frontal part of the used Corvette, which is essentially a haven for the gears that best keep it going. You might want to make sure that the car hasn’t received any frontal blows. Again, if you don’t want to take the seller’s word for granted, should they deny such a thing happened, there is a very reliable way to check for yourself.

Front End Damaged Corvette

Look for the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) number. In the case of the 1997 through 2004 models, keep an eye on the right side of the front frame rail. The first thing to check is whether the VIN number on the frame rail is the same with the one on the dash plate of the used Corvette. If that’s confirmed, it means there haven’t been any replacements. Any frontal hits received by the Corvette will be reflected as distortion of the numbers composing the VIN.

Price & Equipment Go in Hand

We do recommend negotiating here as much as in any other sales interactions, but make sure that your price is in accordance with the optional equipment installed on the used Corvette. The more options we have on board of a Vette, the more desirable it becomes in the eye of the buyer. Or, at least, that’s in theory.

Used Corvette

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We’ve already spoken about the personalization bit in the beginning, but not about how it can influence the price alongside with the experience. You can’t control what gear the previous owner chooses to bless their ride with, but you might end up realizing that you simply do not need any fancy additions or insane engine boosts on a used Stingray, for example. Maybe you can’t have the equipment removed, but you can definitely state clearly that they don’t necessarily add to the desirability of the vehicle for you personally.

Upgrades by Year

Of course, there might be another problem. What’s there to confirm that the used Corvette being sold is actually the model that’s being advertised? You will know if you keep an eye out for all the upgrades and bonus features that have been introduced on a regular basis throughout the year. Let’s start with 2005 and offer some brief information to help you decipher the origin of your Chevy Corvette for sale.

2005-Chevrolet-Corvette

  • 2005: The first C6 coupe and convertible, 400-hp 6.0-liter LS2 V8, optional navigation, keyless access, SiriusXM radio and OnStar.
  • 2006: Return of the Z06 with exclusive manual transmission, fixed roof hatch for the coupe with aluminum frame, 505-hp 7.0-liter LS7 V8 (dual mode exhaust). Look for paddle-shifted 6-speed automatic transmission in coupes and convertibles.
  • 2007: Introduction of a large glove box, OnStar is made available for the Z06.
  • 2008: Coupes and convertibles were gifted a standardized 430-hp 6.2-liter LS3 V8, the SiriusXM radio and OnStar are completed by an MP3 jack, automatically-dimming mirrors are added.
  • 2009: Return of a super-boosted Z06 charged with a 638-hp 6.2-liter LS9 V8, addition of a 6-speed manual gearbox, carbon-fiber roof, wide fenders.
  • 2010: The Z51 is replaced by a Grand Sport in coupe and convertible versions, coming with 430-hp 6.2-liter LS3 V8, wide body design, brakes and spoilers are the same ones as in the case of the Z06. It’s the year when side airbags became a standard inclusion.
  • 2011: Z06 models were given the option for a Z07 and a carbon-fiber package, cross-drilled brake rotors became optional for coupes and convertibles.
  • 2012: The release of a Centennial Edition embellished in Carbon Flash paint, the carbon-fiber hood became optional for the Z06, the Z07 is revised and earns a full-width rear spoiler.

2013 Chevrolet Corvette

Obviously, this was a cycling through the upgrades brought upon the C6 models. In a sense, the new Corvette C7 is still too young to allow for an advantageous used Corvette to be bought at a pleasant deal. Unless you’re seeking Vettes to add them to any vintage collections and all that matters is the ownership of a functional, yet properly beautiful used Corvette, then the sixth generation is where your attention should be.

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